Sports Accident Expert

Sports Accident Expert

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Ed Wankel received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Dowling College in Oakdale, New York, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Administration from Suffolk CommunityCollege, New York, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from C.W.Post, Long Island University.

Ed Wankel has over thirty-five years of professional and technical experience in planning and administration, five years in urban planning and over thirty-five years in Recreation and Education planning, administration, maintenance, park and playground safety and risk management. Mr. Wankelwas formerly the Director of Studies for Leisure Systems Services, a division of planning Associations/P.A. Education and Recreation Consultants, for six years. He was an instructor at St. Joseph’s and Dowling Colleges for over five years.

Ed Wankel served as the Commissioner of the Town of Islip Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, for twelve years as well as the deputy supervisor of the Town of Islip. In addition, he was the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation for Suffolk County, NY for over three years.

Ed Wankel was appointed by the Pataki Administration as the deputy commissioner of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation for the State of York in 1995 and served until December of 1998. In that capacity, he oversaw the Long Island and New York City Regions. Mr. Wankel served as VicePresident of the Suffolk County Police Athletic League, as well as the Treasurer of The New York State Recreation and Parks Society.

Ed Wankel is President of his own firm, Leisure Service Associates, Inc. This firm conducts a variety of management services for both public and private sector organizations that deliver leisure services to the public. LSA specializes in risk management programs for public and private recreation facilities and areas.

Ed Wankel has spent his entire professional career overseeing the operation and maintenance of a number of the best Park and Recreationsystems in the country. In addition, he has overseen the construction of numerous recreation facilities and areas including regional, neighborhood, and statewide parks as well as swimming pools, water slides, Water Parks, playgrounds, Trampoline facilities, athletic fields including soccer fields, baseball fields, etc. golf courses, indoor Basketball courts, Fitness Facilities, Ice Skating 7hockey Rinks, Roller Skating Rinks, challenge/fitness courses, campgrounds, and the Sports, Aquatic and Convention Center at Suffolk County Community College in 2001. He also has planned and organized numerous recreational and instructional programs and activities.

Mr. Wankel oversaw the completion of the Sports, Aquatic, Convention, and Education Center for Suffolk County Community College, New York in 2001. In addition, he oversaw the programming, safety, and operations of the fitness.




Long Island University, C.W. Post Center – Master of Public Administration1995, MPA

  • Dowling College, New York, BBA/1974
  • Suffolk Community College, New York – AAS/1971
  • Nassau County Community College -Surveying Program
  • University of Northern Iowa-National Program for Playground Safety, 2020 CERTIFIED PLAYGROUND SUPERVISOR 2020, NPPS
  • Revenue Resource Management School, North Carolina State University
  • New York Institute of Technology, Certificate in Labor Management
  • Cornell University, New York, Certificate In Contract Management
  • NAYS – National Association of Youth Sports – CERTIFICATION IN PARENT SUPERVISION OF CHILDREN 2019-2022
  • PMT – Certified Parks Maintenance Technician 2021, IU


Dowling College, Oakdale, New York, Instructor

  • Instructor – Creative Communication and Government Studies

St. Joseph’s College, Brentwood, New York, Instructor

  • Recreation & Parks Management and Parks Safety Programs


  • Currently Mr. Wankel is President of Leisure Services Associates Inc. From 2000 –Present
  • Director of the Sports, Fitness/gym and Convention Center, Suffolk County Community College 2000 -2002, New York
  • Consultant for the Sports, fitness/gym and Convention Center at Suffolk County Community College 2002
  • President of Long Island Golf Management Inc., 2000 – December 2013

Deputy Commissioner, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Mr. Wankel has served as Deputy Commissioner of this Agency from 1995 through January 1999. In this capacity he was responsible for the Long Island and New York City Regions, and oversaw all of the Recreational facilities in those regions. These included; Jones Beach State Park, Planting Fields Arboretum, Riverbank State Park Ice Skating & Hockey and Roller Rink, fitness/gym and Recreation facilities, NYC, Recreational Swimming Pools, Water slides, playgrounds, athletic Fields, campgrounds and Beaches and twenty-three NYS Golf Courses.

In addition, Mr. Wankel was primarily responsible for bringing the U.S. Open to the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in 2002, including contract negotiations and golf course restoration.

Commissioner, Suffolk County Department to Parks, Recreation and Conservation from February 1992 to April 19, 1995

Mr. Wankel was responsible for the administration of a departmental budget of over $9 million. Mr. Wankel managed over 40,000 acres of parkland and recreational facilities with a staff of 375 full-time and part-time employees.

Facilities included; playgrounds, campgrounds, hiking trails, Marinas, Pools, Water slides, Athletic fields, etc. He was also responsible for park, swimming pools and playground safety.

Commissioner, Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Town of Islip, Suffolk County, New York, January 1980 through Spring, 1987 and January 1988 to February 1992.

Mr. Wankel was responsible for over 150 Park and Recreation facilities within the Township of 330,000 residents; including, 154 playgrounds, 4 pools, 7 beaches, 3 golf courses, two ice skating and hockey rinks, gymnasiums and athletic fields including; numerous Little League fields.

Deputy Town Supervisor, Town of Islip, 1987

Mr. Wankel served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Town. He was responsible for the administration of a $96 million budget and 1,400 full-time and part-time personnel.

Executive Assistant to the Town Supervisor, Town of Islip, 1979

Executive Assistant to the Park & Recreation Commissioner of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Town of Islip from August 1973 to April 1979, contributed to the NRPA in the late 70’s in the development of Playground Safety Standards. Now the CPSC publishes these guidelines.

Director of Studies, Leisure Systems Services, Planning Associates, Education and Recreation Consultants, Inc., specializing in School District and Municipal Recreation facilities in the Eastern United States, for six years.

Assistant to the Director of Planning, Town of Smithtown, New York for four years.


  • Evaluating Cost Benefit Analysis Techniques, Leisure Systems Services, Bohemia, New York
  • Application of Carrying Capacity Technique to Recreation Planning, Leisure Systems Services, Bohemia, New York; including demand for pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, ice and roller skating rinks and athletic fields.
  • Utilization of Economic Marketing Techniques as a Method of Predicting Recreation Facility Requirements, Leisure Systems Services, Bohemia, New York
  • Analysis of the “Roles and Responsibilities of Government in Providing Leisure Services”, Dowling College, Oakdale, New York
  • Development of a “Conceptual Planning Model for Leisure Services”
  • Prepared a Comprehensive Study for the Development of Public – Private Partnerships for Recreation and Park Facilities. 1996
  • Conducted an analysis of golf ball travel in degrees, at Olde Vine Golf Club, Riverhead New York 2012, now known as the Vines Golf Club.


  • • Consultant for Tallgrass Golf Course in Shoreham, New York 19992000. Prepared a risk management analysis for this new golf course. He managed this Golf Course. (2004-2010)
  • Risk Management Consultant for the Brooklyn Sports Center 2003/04 including a pool, fitness/gymnasium areas and a gym with basketball court.
  • Prepared “Request for Proposal” for the Village of Port Jefferson, New York.
  • Prepared an analysis of the management agreement for Smithtown Landing golf Club, Suffolk County, NY.
  • Consultant to Town of Madison, CT, Prepared RFP for a new recreation facility under a Public/Private partnership 1999 – 2006
  • Served as the Land Preservation Adviser for the Town of Southold, NY. 2002
  • Served as consultant to Olde Vine Construction Corp. for the development of a new private golf course, clubhouse and Fitness facility.
  • City of Melrose, MA, prepared a Request for Proposals and examined safety issues on this public park facility and golf course.

Expert Testimony

  • Mr. Wankel has provided expert testimony on Recreation Facilities and related cases including; playgrounds, golf courses, golf cart accidents, high school gymnasium’s, Cruise line Accidents, Driving Ranges, pools, privately owned Water Parks, Camp Grounds, diving, Athletic fields, Roller Skating and Ice Skating Rinks and Recreation Centers since 1989.
  • Mr. Wankel has testified in the courts of Connecticut, Pennsylvania New York, New Jersey, Florida, Maine and South Carolina. He has prepared reports for clients in New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kansas, South Carolina, California, New Hampshire, Utah, Louisiana, Georgia, New Mexico and Ohio, etc.
  • Mr. Wankel has prepared expert reports and or testified on over fifty cases related to playground accidents primarily that occurred on public school playground facilities and areas and Municipal Playgrounds in New York, Long Island, New Jersey and New York City.

Recent Testimony

The following listing lists only cases where testimony was provided either at trial or deposition and/or settled cases.

Testimony Law firm /Case Nature of Case

  1. Defendant – Law Office of Lorraine Roller Skating Rink Trial Lester, FL Standards 2015
  2. Plaintiff – Walsh, Woodard LLC Campgrounds Case 2014 Trial
  3. Defendant – Costello v. BOE, Fl. Playground Supervision 2018Trial Tina Garcia Esq. Osceola School District
  4. Plaintiff – Michael Feldman Esq., VA Golf Cart Rollover Accident Deposition
  5. Defendant – Rockefeller Center NYC. Ice Skating Rink case – 2021 Settled
  6. Plaintiff. – Woods v. Parish Parks, LA. Softball field Case – 2019Deposition
  7. Defendant – Dunn v. Palmire GC. IN. Golf Course Accident – 2019Deposition David Mack Esq. Settled
  8. Plaintiff Robinson v Absolute fitness Gym/Fitness Facility, settled 2020


  • ASTM F08 Committee Member for Sports Equipment, Playgrounds, Playing Surfaces and facilities.
  • ASTM F24 Voting Committee Member for Amusement Rides, Rinks and Devices, Water Parks


  • “Computerized Recreation Planning”, Journal of the New York Recreation and Park Society
  • “Safety on the Golf Course”, Long Island Golfer Magazine,
  • Columnist for the “Tribune”, wrote a column “Around Long Island Parks”,
  • Thesis, MPA, Long Island University at CW Post, Public – Private Partnerships for Municipal Recreation Facilities and Concessions.


Mr. Wankel has presented a number of educational seminars for the following organizations:

  • New York Recreation and Park Society NYSRPS
  • Long Island Recreation and Park Association LIRPS
  • Metropolitan Golf Association (Risk Management) MGA
  • National Recreation and Park Association, NRPA


  •  Suffolk County Police Athletic League, PAL Board of Directors (1985 to 2011) provided 30 acres of property for athletic fields to SCPAL.
  • Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Town of Islip Council on the Arts, Member
  • Holbrook Lions Club
  • Southold Kiwanis
  • Southold Chamber of Commerce
  • North Fork Environmental Council member
  • Member, Golf Advisory Committee, The Quarry, Naples, FL


  • Long Island Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services Association
  • RSA, Roller Skating Association International
  • International Association of Trampoline Parks
  • National Program for Playground Supervision – NPPS 2020
  • National Recreation and Parks Association, NRPA 2019-20
  • Ice Skating Institute ISIA 2022
  • Metropolitan Golf Association
  • NRPA – Attended three day Playground Safety Program
  • United States Golf Association 2020
  • Sports Turf Management Association
  • World Water Park Association
  • American Park and Recreation Society
  • New York State Recreation and Parks Society, Treasurer
  • American Society of Public Administration
  • Metropolitan Club Managers Association/ MCMA
  • Club Managers Association of America CMAA
  • ACCT, Association for Challenge Course Technology
  • National Association of Youth Sports 2019 –NAYS Parent Supervision Certificate 2019


  • Dowling College Distinguished Service Award 1998
  • Suffolk Community College Distinguished Service Award 1997
  • Man of the Year, Suffolk County Police Athletic League 1996
  • Mr. Wankel was nominated for the 1998 Metropolitan Golf Association Distinguished Service Award.
  • Numerous Certificates of Appreciation from Local Little Leagues.


  • Edward Matthews: Former Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Facilities, St. Lucie County, Florida. 631-831-5933 (Retired 2021)
  • Alphonsis Heraghty, Physical Education Department Chairperson, Suffolk County Community College, New York. 631-241-3058
  • Robert Stumor Esq. Attorney, New Mexico. 505-983-3272


Leisure Services Associates Inc.

  • Edward E. Wankel, MPA, President
  • 507 North Fifth Street, Lafayette, Indiana 47901(summer address) 631-445-8798
  • 537 WEDGEWOOD WAY, NAPLES, FL 34119. (Winter address) 239-316-1168 LSAEXPERTS@GMAIL.COM and;
  • 38 East 37th Street, New York, NY, C/O ULC. 631-445-8798 East Coast location.